CNN has cut ties with conservative commentator Jeffrey Lord after he tweeted a Nazi salute at a prominent liberal critic.
The pundit tweeted “Sieg Heil” in response to an exchange with the head of Media Matters for America.
Jeffrey Lord later said his comment had been misunderstood and that he was mocking fascists.
A CNN spokesperson said in a statement: “Nazi salutes are indefensible. Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network.”
The broadcaster described Jeffrey Lord as one of its best known commentators and the first explicitly pro-Trump commentator to join the network.
Jeffrey Lord has regularly sparred with Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America.
Things came to a head on August 10 when Jeffrey Lord tweeted at Angelo Carusone, linking to a column he had written describing the group as “Media Matters Fascists, the anti-free speech bigots”.
Angelo Carusone, whose name had been misspelt as “Corusone” in the headline, responded: “Your headline has a mistake in it. Why do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you don’t take yourself seriously.”
Jeffrey Lord responded with: “Sieg Heil!”
The pundit later defended his actions, saying he was mocking Nazis and fascists, and criticized CNN’s decision to sever ties with him.
Jeffrey Lord said in a telephone interview: “I feel they are caving to bullies here.”